Greeks strike over state TV closure, PM offers talks

by
June 14, 2013

ATHENS | Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras moved to defuse a political crisis over the government’s abrupt closure of state broadcaster ERT that prompted a nationwide strike on Thursday and brought thousands into the streets in protest.

Samaras, who has branded defenders of ERT hypocrites, invited two left-wing junior coalition parties opposed to the shutdown to talks next Monday, his office said, seeking to avert political instability in the bailed-out euro zone country.

A senior government official said the conservative prime minister was open to discussing their proposals and a compromise was likely, though he did not intend to back down from closing ERT and relaunching a smaller, more efficient entity.

“I believe there is scope for compromise and we will not go to new elections,” the official told Reuters.

The partners, who want ERT switched back on immediately, welcomed the meeting but kept up a critical broadside that has pushed Greece into its most serious political crisis since the uneasy right-left coalition came to power a year ago.

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